Preventing Combustible Explosions

Updated: Mar 8

What happens to you in an explosion?

First your ears blow out, at about 3.4 PSI, then your eyes…then your lungs and other organs rupture at around 40 PSI. Quora

This is a graphic explanation of exactly what happens in a firey explosion, yet very real. As seen on the image to the right, 4 workers died, and 42 more injured, as a result of explosions, with combustible dust being the culprit.

You might be thinking, “well I’ve seen gas explosions blow whole neighborhoods up- wood dust could never produce that strong of an explosion”. According to the Journal of Mechanical Science and Technology…

unlike gas explosions having maximum explosion pressure at near chemical stoichiometric concentration, both the maximum explosion pressure and the maximum rate of explosion pressure of wood dusts appeared at three times or much higher equivalence ratio. Journal of Mechanical Science and Technology

Combustible Wood Dust Explosions

Fires can ignite explosions in dirty workplaces. EXPLOSIONS!

This video explains why settled dust is such a hazard in sawmills and wood shops, and also shows how it increases the risk of fires and explosions, which can cause catastrophic injuries, loss of life, and destruction of buildings.


Factories are meant to be places of productivity where everyone works toward a common goal – whether it’s the number of widgets produced, the number of products assembled and packaged…whatever. Workplaces should not be explosive traps in which we might lose our lives. It’s one thing if our place of work catches fire or worse, blows up and no one gets hurt…we may lose our livelihoods. But, if we work in a dirty and dangerous workplace…we and our buddies on either side of us can feasibly not be going home tonight.

How to Reduce Fires and Explosions in Factories

Today, technology exists that greatly lessen the threat of fire and explosions in the factories we work in. It’s well worth taking the time to look at some of the ways today’s technologies may keep you out of the nightly news. Spark detection systems, backdraft valves, fire suppression of all sorts play pertinent roles in keeping our factories safer.

Does your workplace have what is required? Intelligent controllers have also proven to make the workplace cleaner, quieter and safer by controlling the airflow and exhausting all particulates when and where they are produced – this eliminates any settling in your main duct, greatly reduces in-factory dust accumulation and when programmed correctly work in orchestra with all of your fire suppression elements.

Dust Collector Causes Fire


PSA: Stay out of the news…

Need Help?

If you would like to learn more about if you and your workplace are in compliance you may reach me at for your free system analysis.

Author: Matthew Rodriguez

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